Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between right and wrong;
rather it is telling the difference between right and almost right.
Discernment...oh how this is a matter that weighs heavily upon me. I try so hard not to become disheartened of the fact that so many don't use the gift of discernment that God gives us. People will flock to any new song, movie, book or preacher that tickles their ears. Just because something is almost right...doesn't make it right. The gospel has to be the truth of Scripture...nothing more, nothing less or else it just isn't right.
“How shall a man judge what to do in such times?'
'As he ever has judged,' said Aragorn. 'Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear...It is a man's part to discern them, as much in th Golden Wood as in his own house.”
As Christians, we have a responsibility to use discernment in all matters...otherwise it is very easy to fall victim to a wolf in sheep's clothes. First, let's look at the definition of discernment:
Webster's Dictionary says it is a noun meaning:
the ability to see and understand people, things, or situations clearly and intelligently.
I found some of the synonyms to be telling, as well. They are wisdom, perceptiveness, and insight. So to have discernment is to have wisdom, perceptiveness and insight! How wonderful is that?
Before I go on, let me make it abundantly clear that I am so far from perfect and have so much growing in wisdom to do myself. I do not write out of a vicious (or "know it all") spirit but rather one of concern and sadness. Please understand that my heart cries out for others to be careful because I desire to see the church grow more holy and righteous and pleasing to Christ.
So, after saying that...I now feel I need to address the fact that so many people are falling prey to the likes of "your best life now" and "feel good" preaching. The truth is that we are to take up our cross daily! In the words of Christ: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?" (Luke 9:23-25).
There are new movies coming out (for example, the Noah movie with Russell Crowe in it, the Son of God movie, etc.) that are truly *not* biblical. People make up the argument that it can bring Christianity to people. I say it does more harm than good. I highly encourage you to read some reviews. Here's one on Noah by Ken Ham...and one on Son of God by Tim Challies.
The *only* way to truly convert souls to Christ is:
The working of the Holy Spirit in their hearts due to hearing the gospel shared with them (which is our job...not through movies etc.). They must feel a Godly sorrow of their sins and repent of them and believe in the Christ Who saves their souls. The Word leads people to Christ...not a movie or song.
Please don't get me wrong...I don't think you are horrible or unintelligent if you go see these movies (although if you are a fan of Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn and the likes, I do want you to dig into God's Word to see that their preaching is not of God. Joel Osteen is about carnality. Watch THIS. Paul Washer says it just as it is. Know it is my concern for your soul that I share this with you. I pray all who need to see this ~ do, for out of love I want to admonish you to use discernment and realize life isn't about getting more stuff, being prettier, and having more friends. It's NOT about your best life now. It's about glorifying God in everything...in our joy, in our suffering).
I just ask that if you *do* go see the movies, read the books, listen to the songs....use wisdom. Measure them to Scripture. Don't just believe all your see/read/hear. If it isn't biblical...realize that and don't endorse it as if it were. This is discernment....to realize when something is of God or if it isn't.
Do you love Him? If you do, then you should feel frustration, sadness, and anger when things misrepresent Him. For example, the Noah movie with Russell Crowe is "based" on the Bible...but they used "artistic license" to make it...which in other words, means: they changed it to make lots of money. So the movie only tells half-truths...if it is less than 100% biblical, it's trash, in my opinion. I have never even watched The Passion of the Christ movie. Maybe one day I will...but as of now, His Word tells me all I need to know. I don't need it grand-ized on the big screen.
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
~ 2 Timothy 1-4
Even if you do have discernment and realize the error of these false teachers, I ask that you be in prayer for those who are in their clutches. If God has handed them over to heretical preaching, we must pray for mercy for them to escape this! If we love people, we have a responsibility to warn them and share the gospel with them. Listen to THIS by Todd Friel (from Wretched) as he holds Osteen to the Bible.
"Salvation is of the Lord. We are to preach it faithfully."
~ Todd Friel